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Do you feel safe in Bellingham? A new study ranks Washington’s safest cities

What to do if you see a peeper or flasher

Sgt. Claudia Murphy, who supervises the Bellingham Police Department’s Family Crimes Unit, offers advice on what to do if you see a peeper or flasher. She advises residents to call 911 right away and to get a good description of the suspect.
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Sgt. Claudia Murphy, who supervises the Bellingham Police Department’s Family Crimes Unit, offers advice on what to do if you see a peeper or flasher. She advises residents to call 911 right away and to get a good description of the suspect.

Do you feel safe living in Bellingham? You probably should; a new study calls it the 15th safest city in the state.

Security system reviewer website SafeHome.org recently published its findings on the 25 safest cities in each state, using data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, local crime trends and “demographic metrics that are correlated to crime” such as population density, population trends, unemployment, median income and education level.

To qualify for the study, a city had to have a population of 46,000 people or more.

The result was that Bellingham ranked No. 15, placing it well above the largest cities in Washington.

The city recorded 214 violent crimes and 4,067 property crimes last year. Both categories marked a downward trend from the previous year, according to the study. Bellingham, population 83,976, has one police officer for every 502 citizens.

It’s not all good news, though. Last year saw a spike in certain thefts; specifically a spree of stolen catalytic converters.

Larger cities showed up in lower spots on the list. Seattle came in at No. 20, while Tacoma was No. 24 and Spokane was No. 25.

So what’s the safest city in the state?

That would be Sammamish, which also ranked as the 68th safest city in America. There were just 12 violent crimes and 392 property crimes.

Several other Puget Sound area cities also ranked highly: Kirkland was No. 2, Shoreline was No. 4, Redmond No. 6, Bellevue No. 8 and Marysville ranked No. 10.

Other high-ranking cities included Pasco at No. 3, Richland at No. 5 and Kennewick at No. 7.

You can read the full study here.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for McClatchy. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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